Tuesday, August 20, 2013

You Say Tomato....

....we'll say: "Tomato?  Oh yes we have tomatoes!"

Get ready for what will probably be the biggest unloading of our tomato varieties on you (our CSA members) this season....with the caveat of "who knows, maybe next week we'll have even more tomatoes!"  Our vines are fruiting like crazy....it could happen!

CSA this week:

  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Kale
  • Zucchini 
  • Yellow Zephyr Summer Squash
  • Patty Pan Summer Squash
  • Potatoes
  • Tomatoes (a LOT!)
  • Leeks
  • Eggplant
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Hot Peppers
  • Basil
  • Carrots

And we thought last week was the peak of the season.

Fresh this week will be basil, brought to you in a neat little bunch.  Yes, finally you can make your winter pesto!  We have planted a basil crop this year, but it has been somewhat scarce on the land to make room for other things (haha, like tomatoes, for example).  And we have carrots (yes, they are back)!  We've been selling them at farmer's market and have received a lot of feedback that they are pretty darn good, some of the best tasting carrots around!  We'll have to thank our carrot-farming specialist, Forrest Kelly, for his good work.

In Echollective farm news, we have been hard at work flipping the farm over into Fall mode, while maintaining the last of our summer crops as they reach the peak of production.  Kale has been consistently plentiful, beautiful, and healthy throughout the hot months; our squashes are still going proverbially crazy (we pull upwards of 50 pounds of squash in from the fields per day); and if you haven't seen them at the New Pioneer Co-ops yet, our leeks are HUGE.  We are so proud of our leek yield this year: it took much care, watering, and thinning of smaller leeks out of the field to give these monsters the room to be the glorious gods amongst vegetables that they are.

But with Fall nearing, it's time to think about cooler-weather crops, which begins with getting the fields prepped and ready before anything can even grow.  As we head into the less-hot months of the season, we are doing a clever tilling method called "stale bedding."  No, it's not a passive way of making your bed in the morning so it at least looks good from the hallway.....stale-bedding is a protracted, useful extra step to tilling many beds and procuring them in a way that yields as little weeds as possible!  How does this work?  (And this could be useful to you in your own garden or yard, so listen up!)  Well, first you till your desired plot until it is just bare soil.  Then, you water it.  Water it real, real good.  In time, all the weed seeds on the top soil that you so dread...they will begin to germinate, their seeds will just crack open a little bit as they are watered.  Can you guess what you do next?  You till the bed again!  Or dig or fork it, whichever method you choose, just as long as those seeds are broken up and reburied once more.  The sprouting seeds are killed instantly by being pulled back under the earth, or at least a very big chunk of them are.  And what do you know....you're having to deal with a lot less weeds in the coming weeks!

So, we are currently watering around 1 to 2 acres with the intent of stale bedding and getting ready for our upcoming crops.  What is there to look forward to?  Well, all sorts of cool leafy greens!  Our daikon radishes are already sprouting out in the field as we speak.  Before you know it, we'll have a lot on the way, ready for Fall....speaking of which, keep your eyes and ears open for our upcoming Fall 2013 CSA.  Details on the way soon!

Now, all we need is the rain we had earlier in the Spring!  All the crops we tend to grow in the Spring will be reappearing for Fall and the drenching was more than welcome.  The past few weeks have been the typical dryness expected of the summer, and we have had to do a lot of the watering of our crops ourselves. 

With that said, we hope you're looking forward to your biggest CSA share so far this season.  Enjoy, and we'll see you at market!



Recipes

 Watermelon-Peach Salsa and Tomatoes (www.myrecipes.com)

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup hot pepper jelly
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 cups seeded and diced fresh watermelon $
  • 1 cup peeled and diced fresh peaches $
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 3 cups baby heirloom tomatoes, halved
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Garnish: fresh basil sprigs

Preparation

  1. Whisk together pepper jelly, lime zest, and lime juice in a bowl; stir in watermelon and next 3 ingredients.
  2. Season halved baby tomatoes with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste; spoon into cocktail glasses. Top with salsa. Garnish, if desired.


Basil Gelato (www.saveur.com)

MAKES 1 QUART

Ingredients

  • 2 cups basil leaves
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp. lemon zest
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 6 egg yolks

Instructions

Combine basil, milk, cream, sugar, zest, salt, and yolks in a blender and puree until smooth. Pour into a 2-qt. saucepan and heat gently until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and pour through a fine strainer; chill in the refrigerator. Pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. Serve garnished with fresh basil leaves.



Fresh Cucumber Carrot Salad (www.foodnetwork.com)

Ingredients

  • 2 small or 1 large cucumber, peeled and seeded
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 1 small or 1/2 large shallot, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Halve and thinly slice the cucumber. Then place into a medium bowl with the grated carrots and shallots. In a small bowl, mix together the vinegar, Sriracha and soy sauce. Toss with the vegetables and season with salt and pepper only if needed. Serve.

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Please tell us if you can't identify something on the market table, don't know what to do with a particular item, have a food allergy we should know about, or if you have other questions or comments. We love to hear from you!
 
 

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